Formatting the Book and Designing the Cover for Finding Sisters

Two months ago, when I last wrote, the editing process for Finding Sisters had just begun with the assignment of the publishing company CEO as my editor. He sent me the first two chapters right away, followed by an alarming silence for several weeks. It turned out that he had been hospitalized with Covid, but he didn’t make that reality public, even for his authors, until he was well on the road to recovery. We’ve now finished the editing of the main manuscript which, lucky for me, didn’t involve much serious rewriting of any of the chapters, and the book has now moved on to the formatting stage.

The formatting stage is where the book designer takes the edited manuscript and the proposed illustrations and puts them together in what will eventually become the printing format for the physical book. That process began just about a week ago, so I have nothing to report about what’s happening there, but I’ve worked with this book designer before and she does excellent work. There were lots of illustrations for Keeping the Lights on for Ike, and she did a terrific job of placing them within the chapters. There are fewer illustration for Finding Sisters, so I’m not stressed at all about what she will come up with. Eventually, the appendix of resources and other items—like the dedication, acknowledgements, and table of contents—will get added to the format as well.

Along with the formatting of the book comes the cover design process. I’ve been assigned a designer, someone I’ve not worked with before but who is excited about the creative possibilities for this cover. She has already presented me with three interesting options to choose from, based on my early suggestions for possible cover artwork themes. The first, and favorite of all who have seen the options, is a tree image with faces from my illustrations superimposed inside the tree branches. It’s a really fascinating and creative take on a “family tree” and is very engaging for all who view it. She’s now in the process of playing with color variations and adjusting some of the photo images so we should be moving to finalize the design soon. The other two options presented below (designs by Alyssa Roth) included a playful wallpaper of a repeated double helix image (the structure of a DNA molecule) with lettering spread across it, and a closer view of a double helix with photo images inside the rounded, crossing strands and interspersed with lettering. Such wonderful and creative options for this author to choose from, and if these are the ones we’re not going to use, imagine how amazing the final cover will be! I look forward to unveiling the final cover design soon.

One of the cover options designed by Alyssa Roth
Another cover option designed by Alyssa Roth

The marketing planning process for the book launch has also begun with me submitting all the requested info (about my in-person networks, social media handles, search keywords, comparable books by others, pitch ideas, blurbs, Amazon categories, etc.) to the marketing advisor. We’ll start that part of the process very soon. And you thought all you had to do to get a book published was to write it!

We are still very much on target for an early fall release, though it seems late summer could also be possible if all the details fall into place in a timely fashion. I’ll definitely keep everyone posted on that date as soon as it’s formally announced.

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